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SA’s unemployment rate hits new record high in second quarter

Job losses were concentrated in finance.
Image: Naashon Zalk, Bloomberg News

South Africa’s headline unemployment rate hit a record high of 34.4% in the second quarter from 32.6% in the first three months of the year as businesses shed staff due to the devastating economic impact of Covid-19.

The rate was the highest since Statistics South Africa’s quarterly labour force survey began in 2008, with a total of 7.826 million people out of work in the three months to the end of June.

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According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 44.4% of the labour force was without work in the second quarter, from 43.2% in the first quarter. That equates to 11.9 million unemployed by the expanded definition.

Stats SA said the only employment decrease was observed in the formal sector (375 000) in Q2: 2021, while employment gains were observed in the informal sector (184 000), agricultural sector (69 000) and private households (67 000).

Job losses in the second quarter were concentrated in finance, which shed 278 000 jobs, while community and social services lost 166 000 jobs and manufacturing lost 83 000 jobs.

Quarter-to-quarter and year-on-year changes in the formal sector by industry

Source: Stats SA

Note: Trade refers to wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods; hotels and restaurants. Finance refers to financial intermediation, insurance, real estate and business services. Services refers to community, personal and social services.

The South African economy has long suffered from high levels of joblessness, contributing to poverty and inequality that persist nearly three decades after the end of white minority rule and were partly to blame for civil unrest in some parts of the country in July.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated South Africa’s labour market woes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has put job creation at the heart of a plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis, but so far that plan has struggled to gain traction.

“The impact (of Covid-19) that we are seeing is most firms have closed down, … we can see with the rise in unemployment,” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke told a news conference.

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Another magnificent achievement.

Take a bow, the ANC.

… and the Only solution the ANC can come up with….

… and that is full proof…. is to further TAX the ones that are already highly taxed.

… Every other solution has been proved ineffective…

Agreed, however these is a wonderful, ever present, ideal, magical and oh so convenient reason for this………and it is called COVID 19.

But wait, we have a PLAN and there is a fix for this….implement the new state run “Comprehensive Social Security and Retirement Reform”.

yip….blame everything and everyone except incompetence and inability to govern!

Let them eat mud.

And you know what their answer is? I copy it here from Youtube, a comment made by one “Sam”: “White settlers have been kicked out of every country apart from Namibia and South Africa. Africa existed before your arrival and will continue to exist without you in the picture. We actually would like a war or something to assist your departure. As a foreign settler, it actually doesn’t concern you what will happen to Africa”. As true as Bob- I promise.

The Amalgamated National Corruption, as someone else noted.

New record next quarter.

Precisely, a worsening upward graph always will set perpetual new records.

“Let’s grow South Africa together” the famed ANC T-shirt says. Perhaps they meant negative growth… *lol*

What do you expect when you shut down a country already on the brink of collapse for a virus with a 99.7% survival rate? We will feel the effects of this madness for a generation.

Since it costs R620,000 investment per job it means we need approximately R7.44Tril

“The South African economy has long suffered from high levels of joblessness, contributing to poverty and inequality that persist nearly three decades after the end of white minority rule and were partly to blame for civil unrest in some parts of the country in July.”

So let me get this straight, apartheid is to blame for the both the civil unrest and the high unemployment rate?

When will the anc take responsibility?
They would rather have 100% of nothing than 1% of something functional.

The socialists and media are in complete denial, al presidente was standing at the door for more than 6 years while the looting of South African Tax Payer money continued and to this day not a single fat cat has been arrested nor has any money been returned.

And by the way, governments do not create jobs, businesses do!
Create an enviroment for businesses to function and prosper then jobs a plenty will be created.

George Reisman wrote a book called “The Government Against the Economy” It is well worth a read.

They wont read it, they’ll burn it

Nah – not apartheid –It is Jan !!!

The same government that fights the diabetes epidemic with a sugar tax, is fighting job creation with a labour tax. We need to make labour cheaper per unit of productivity for the labour market to clear. We are sitting on a huge stockpile of overpriced goods and we cannot understand why the market does not absorb the surplus.

The Tripartite Alliance with its narrow self-interests uses labour laws and wage demands to create an artificial barrier to entry into the labour market. The workforce is priced out of the market at their level of productivity. Only investments in capital formation can increase the productivity of labour. A new tractor, digger-loader, dump truck and heavy machinery enable the same worker to be much more productive during the same working hours. New investments in capital formation create a higher demand for jobs. We need new investors to “suck” jobs off the streets, through the skills-training process, onto the factory floor and into the cab of the truck and the tractor.

Taxes on capital punish investments in capital formation and leads to lower productivity and higher unemployment. BEE is a 30% tax on capital. Add the Capital Gains Tax, the redistributive municipal taxes on capital investment, plus estate duties on capital savings and it is clear that the government destroys the productivity of labour. All these taxes on capital are actually taxes on inflation, and the government is in control of the process of inflation. Socialist policies destroy the demand for labour and increase the demand for social support and unemployment benefits.

The ANC “hoards” unemployed workers, and prevents them from selling their productive time in the market. The battle against capitalism is ultimately a battle against the hungry unemployed masses.

Brilliant but way over the brain capacity of the cadre to comprhend– Try “No Job” Signs !!!

The Tripartite Alliance allows the South African Communist Party and COSATU to exert far more political influence on our government via the ruling party than they would otherwise have. It’s the only reason the SACP even continues to exist in any relevant way post-Apartheid.

Might also be a good idea not to threaten investors with the arbitrary theft of their property known as EWC, and not to threaten them with idiotic, communist taxes, such as those for the NHI and a BIG.

Agreed, but this lot don’t understand how investment really works. They feel that other countries ‘MUST’ invest in S. A. because of sympathy, or they feel the outside world somehow owes S. A. They (govt) either don’t understand the people will only invest in S. A. to make a profit, OR the triparteid alliance parties DO understand that, but abhor such a capitalist notion.

Socialism = poverty and unemployment. The ANC economic policy and intervention is directly responsible for this miserable situation. SA is an unattractive place for entrepreneurs to do business.

Forget about solving or making any dent in the unemployment rate with the corrupt ANC in charge.

Not going to happen.

MOST South Africans are unemployable.

I would rather lose a finger than employ an average South African.

Agreed. We have a bunch of virtually useless, lazy and corrupt people in this country. They are actually “unemployable” parasites, always looking for an opportunity to get something for nothing. Working is not exactly their forte.

I have ZERO from the rioting classes. Unemployable as you say. We used to need a large group to do some seasonal piece-work, until they went on a wild cat strike during the season – they had us to ransom. Bought a second hand machine from Europe (with pain) and now not one needed. Prob 100+ seasonal jobs gone. We’d have happily continued as we always did

The crooked cooks are being creative in their utopian kitchen but the recipe is just as corrupted as they are.

Reminds me of a comment I was going to make on another story, but didn’t get round to it. The S. A. ruling party are like a a baker wanting to add more sugar to a cake to compensate for the fact that the flour is rotten.

The ANC’s solutions to unemployment . . . hold a job summit . . . schedule a conference . . . initiate a commission of enquiry into joblessness . . . propagate the idea of a “new dawn”. . . “double down” on socialist policies . . . consider giving grants to the unemployed . . . Sadly investors have seen/heard it all before over the past ten years and more.

The problem is we only had one job summit. We should increase that number to at least 12 a year. In that way the catering sector will grow employment.

No surprises there. Self-inflicted – pre-covid the economy was already on its knees. Then the smart ones decided to shut down the country and all economic activities.

I will not hire, if I can’t fire.

A guy looked at my Corvette the other day and said,
“I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that sports car cost?
I replied I’m not sure;
it fed a lot of families in Bowling Green, Kentucky who built it,
it fed the people who make the tires,
it fed the people who made the components that went into it,
it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires,
it fed people in at Caterpillar who make the trucks that haul the copper ore.
It fed the trucking people who hauled it from the plant to the dealer
and fed the people working at the dealership and their families.
BUT,… I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed.
That is the difference between capitalism and the welfare mentality.
When you buy something, you put money in people’s pockets and give them dignity for their skills.
When you give someone something for nothing, you rob them of their dignity and self-worth.
Capitalism is freely giving your money in exchange for something of value.
Socialism is having the government take your money against your will and give it to someone else for doing nothing.

A better ZIM for all ! VIVA !

And stop with this garbage jobs. Bricklayer. Is that what you want to save South Africas economy. A bunch of brick layers and some electricians. That’s the backbone of the country. No wonder we are third world.

This article still has no link between population growth and joblessness.

If a country creates more people than jobs, the people will get poorer.

Our second world economists should have a much bigger focus on the informal sector and the traditional areas, to absorb more labour.

The economy and the taxpayers cannot breathe.

I’m waiting for fellow commentator “DADAPE” to provide some positive insight for us…. 😉

I wonder what it must be like to be a proud South African.

I’m not really of Dadape’s persuasion but may I venture a guess on his behalf?

He’ll quote the article:

“Stats SA said the only employment decrease was observed in the formal sector (375 000) in Q2: 2021, while employment gains were observed in the informal sector (184 000), agricultural sector (69 000) and private households (67 000).”

So you see only formal (i.e. tax paying) jobs decreased but informal (so non-tax payers, yes?) increased and that is good. Because now people are paying less tax as well.

As I said not my conviction, but how’s that for an attempt?

Oh and to drive the point really home. Expanded inflation is only 44%

To place that in context it’s like you lose only four and half of your fingers

Be positive man! You still have five and half left

Great attempt Michie *lol* You made my day! 🙂

And the always-positive ‘Dadape’ will be proud of you

If they would cut government regulation(=jobs) and stop these MULTIPLE abysmal programs LIKE BEE that are proven not to work, THEN maybe (just) maybe international investors would begin looking again. BUT with all the unqualified government placements of under-educated, ON THE JOB TRAINEE’S, this country will continue to go DOWN. AND they know it!! That’s why they want to tax your retirement if you leave with it. ANOTHER GREAT IDEA BROUGHT TO YOU BY THIS CORRUPT REGIME. DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE LOTTERY OFFICES BEING RAIDED BY THE S.I.U. Dec 2020??? They just can’t control their looting, self-enrichment ways. But I’m just an American looking from a different perspective.Living here BUT thinking of leaving. SAD B E A UTIFUL COUNTRY

Job losses have been happening a quite some time now thanks to ruling party being in bed with labour unions making us ever more uncompetitive and lowering actual production. However the hard lockdown and other stupid restrictions last year is what really put the anvil around job creations neck. Banning further revenue creating tobacco and alcohol sales was just the nudge to push job creating with her encumbered neck into the water. The lockdown could really have been handled so much better. For instance those that have chronic conditions or above age 60 could’ve stayed home while the rest could’ve gone to work to keep the economic engine running to at least try to mitigate job losses to some extent. But our government had to go and throw out the baby with the bathwater again…

The fact that is in Finance that the majority job losses occurred is telling.

End of comments.

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